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RESERVE SOLDIERS AWARDED MEDALS

Two Loughborough Army soldiers celebrated receiving their Volunteer Reserve Service Medal (VRSM) at a presentation ceremony at their Army Reserve Centre. The Mayor of Charnwood visited the home of 203 Squadron, 158 Regiment Royal Logistic Corps, in Leicester Road, Loughborough, to present the medals to Lance Corporal Lucas Bibby and Sergeant Martin Phillips. VRSM recipients must have completed 10 years continuous service to qualify.

Lance Corporal Lucas Bibby (28) started his military career in 2003 and has seen operational service in Iraq and Cyprus. A retained fire-fighter in civilian life he said: “I’ve had a great time, I’ve really enjoyed the past 11-years and it’s nice to have been recognised for the work I have carried out over the years.” His military job is a driver: “I got my HGV driving license through the Reserves. There are lots of training opportunities and qualifications you can get through the Reserves that you can then take into your civilian life; it offers a good skills set.

I would say to anyone who is thinking about joining think about what they want to achieve. Of course I would want them to join our regiment, but there are others in the area. We have Paras, infantry, movement controllers and engineers and they are all within a reasonable travelling distance of Loughborough. Being a Reserve focuses your mind and once you start training you just want to go on and prove yourself.”

Also receiving his medal was Sergeant Philip Martin (50) who is the Squadron’s chef. In civilian life he is a solicitor. He has also completed 11 years service.  Phil already had military experience, having served full time in the RAF before joining the Army Reserve.

He said: “I do enjoy the military side of life. There are just so many opportunities. I’ve been all over the UK on exercise and had the opportunity to go on exercises abroad as well. I’ve been to Gibraltar and the Regiment has just returned from a two-week exercise in Germany.”

“It can be hard work but you do get job satisfaction from it and you do make some strong friendships. We are all focused and keen to learn because we want to be there and when it’s cold and wet the banter and camaraderie comes to the fore. It’s a change from the normal day job which is what I enjoy.” Asked what he enjoys cooking he replied without hesitation: “Breakfast. It sets the guys up for the day.”

The Mayor of Charnwood, Councillor Paul Day, congratulated the soldiers individually before addressing other members of the Regiment. Prior to the presentation he had a tour of the Centre. Councillor Paul Day said: “I was delighted to be invited to visit the Army Reserves where I was shown various equipment and vehicles. I climbed up and sat in one of the large vehicles and I was astounded by the amount of technology displayed inside the cab. At the end of the evening I was asked to present two Volunteer Reserve Service medals to Lance Corporal Lucas Bibby and Sergeant Martin Philips. Well done to both of them.”

If you would like to find out more about joining 158 Regiment then pop along to Leicester Road Army Reserve Centre any Tuesday night at 7.30pm, call 01509 263742 or visit www.armyjobs.mod.uk. You can also see what the Regiment is up to on their FaceBook page: 158 Regiment RLC.

The Volunteer Reserves Service Medal

The Volunteer Reserves Service Medal (VRSM) is a medal awarded to all members of the reserves of all of the branches of the British Armed Forces – the Royal Naval Reserve, the Royal Marines Reserve, the Reserve Army and the Royal Auxiliary Air Force. It replaced the separate decorations and medals awarded respectively to officers and other ranks in each of the services – the Royal Navy’s Reserve Decoration and Reserve Long Service and Good Conduct Medal, the British Army’s Territorial Decoration and Efficiency Medal (Territorial), and the Royal Air Force’s Air Efficiency Award – from 1 April 1999.

The VRSM is awarded after 10 years service in the reserves, although service in the regular forces before joining the reserves may count towards the qualifying period. However, a maximum of five years regular service can be counted and this service is counted as half qualifying time ie five years regular service counts as two and a half years service towards this medal. A clasp is awarded for each additional 5 years of service. Unlike earlier decorations, a recipient is not entitled to post-nominal letters.

The Royal Logistic Corps

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